Dear brothers and sisters,
The joy of Christmas does not depend on the atmosphere of the Shopping Center. It depends on a personal and passionate relationship with Christ Jesus our Lord. This relationship with Christ matters the most because our whole spiritual life depends on it.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ always forces an issue of will. Do I accept God's verdict on sin in the Cross of Christ? Have I the slightest interest in the death of Jesus? Do I want to be identified with His death, to be killed right out to all interest in sin, in worldliness, in self - to be so identified with Jesus that I am spoilt for every thing else but Him? “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” (Rom 6:5-8).
The great privilege of discipleship is that I can sign on under His Cross, and that means death to sin. Get alone with Jesus and either you tell Him that you do not want sin to die out in you, or else tell Him that at all costs you want to be identified with His death. Immediately you transact in confident faith in what Our Lord did on the Cross; a supernatural identification with His death takes place, and you will know with a knowledge that surpasses human knowledge that your "old man" is crucified with Christ. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” The proof that your old man is crucified with Christ is the amazing ease with which the life of God in you enables you to obey the voice of Jesus Christ in your daily encountering with the world.
Every now and again, Our Lord lets us see what we would be like if it were not for Himself; it is a justification of what He said - "Without Me you can do nothing." That is why the bedrock of Christianity is personal, passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus. We mistake the ecstasy of our first introduction into the Kingdom for the purpose of God in getting us there; His purpose in getting us there is that we may realize all that identification with Jesus Christ means.
As we celebrate the birth of Christ during this Christmas season, let us be reminded of the fact that our Lord Jesus is alive and in reign. But does He in reign within our lives? Our live in Christ is the best Christmas gift we can ever receive for eternity. This gift of new life calls for a daily identification with the life and death of Jesus, so that His power of resurrection will transform our old man/woman into a life that glorifies His name. He welcomes you to unwrap and enjoy this Christmas gift daily instead of letting it sit in your closet in the rest of your life.
Have a blessed and lovely day to enjoy His very presence.
Love you in Christ,